We hit the boat show every year for a three day weekend and have been able to save a ton on jackets, accessories and odds and ends for the boat. But you have to know what are good prices and what are not so good prices.
I wanted to pick up some line
to run a new jib
sheet, but the prices at the show for non-racing line
were actually higher than what I could get online. We did pick up Sperrys for about half the regular price, got a new GPS
, a great deal on foulies and picked up a Henri Lloyd jacket for $19.
Both Catalina and Hunter do the sticker thing when you enter their booths. There are so many people at the show that the salesman don't bother you unless you let them know that you have questions. According to salesman I've talked to in the past, the bulk of their sales come during the shows or from people who originally looked at a boat at the show.
I have a 22 Catalina now that I use as a daysailer and have found the Catalina folks to be very good at taking care of their customers, including the owners party they throw at each boat show.
Whether Catalina is the right boat for you, or if you're better off in a Gozzard, Cabo Rico or Hylas is a discussion best had between you and your checkbook. If money is no object there's always Hinckley...